An oni (demon) girl lives in a decrepit shrine somewhere in Japan. One day, she meets a young man and invites him to a night-long festival in which monsters have fun dancing.
Rem: Wow, this is truly a dream come true, to be published in Japan is something that I hoped for ever since I was a kid! Being a comic book artist in America or Japan, I feel, is very difficult! However, being someone who draws in a Japanese style in America is especially difficult for me because I question how well I'm representing myself as a Japanese-style artist. I feel like that's something that anyone who is in love with the art or culture of a country other than their own might struggle with. So, in many ways winning this contest gives me so much confidence to continue to do what I love to do without self-doubt. That is the biggest prize, in my opinion.
Bikkuri: I really got off easy, writing a story with no dialogue! I didn't think about it at the time, but in an international competition, it works out really well! I can't pretend that I wanted to say something like "manga is universal! We don't need words to express ourselves!", but I think the message presents itself all the same. My goal as a creator is to touch as many people as possible with my work, so I'm very excited that something I wrote is being published internationally. I hope that people all over the world can understand the feelings that I've put into this story.
This is a silent manga that depicts a Japanesque world with a sensitive and expressive art style. The work surprised everyone who read this work, including manga artists and manga editors, by its quality.
The backgrounds drawn with a very unique style, that is reminiscent of Japanese paper cutout, have a big presence. A decrepit shrine, stone steps, and fresh green mountains evoke the humidity and scents of the mountain air.
The artists show their talent in using 360 degree “camera work” with which they can draw objects from any angle. Switching angles so often frame by frame usually confuses readers, but this work does not, because the frames are meticulously organized. Also, it is more difficult than people think for readers to understand a story without textual information such as dialogues. The artists, however, do not lose the reader in the middle as the story proceeds. Even though the story is simple, this is the creators’ great technique to organize frames. The frames are constructed so well that the readers can read from the first frame to the last without referring back to the previous pages or frames to check what is going on. This technique is rare to find even in manga competitions in Japan that receive many quality works.
The designs of the two main characters are very endearing and attractive. Their facial expressions are vital and lively. The Japanese sound effects drawn by the artists are surprisingly perfect.
Nevertheless, it seems that the artists do not show their own distinctive style in both the story and the character designs. It is hoped that they will show their own unique styles in future works. Having said that, this work surprised us in many ways. The pleasant surprises won the work the grand prize.